Very much a standard early Avengers episode – which puts it streets ahead of a lot of current “detective” drama – this is one of those stories where you keep expecting there to be something more going on than has been revealed, but it resolutely refuses to increase scale. It’s a good example of how the producers were struggling to incorporate Keel into Steed’s dealings – the odds of Archie Duncan being both Keel’s patient and Steed’s pawn are pretty astronomical.
That doesn’t stop it being an enjoyable hour’s listening, with Julian Wadham and Anthony Howell as excellent as ever as Steed and Keel, with some fun byplay between them, and the odd bit of idiosyncratic behaviour just starting to creep into Steed’s actions (reserving a public call box for his personal use, for example). Lucy Briggs-Owen gets a bit more to do as Carol – and as a nurse, rather than one of Steed’s agents – and there’s some effective doubling up among the guest cast that gives the impression of a considerably larger roll call of actors than is normal for a Big Finish production. There’s also some very effective sound work courtesy of Richard Fox and Lauren Yason, although occasionally the musical stings come in with a degree of force that perhaps is unwarranted!
Verdict: An enjoyable hour’s drama. 8/10